UL Softball Preview: Memphis
The 25th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun softball team will take on the Memphis Tigers on Sunday at 10:30 am, in their fifth and final game of the Gulfport College Classic in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Memphis will head into the Gulfport College Classic with an overall record of 7-5, with wins over Middle Tennessee, Morehead St., Missouri St., Valparaiso, and Southeast Missouri, as well as two wins over Boston College, with losses to Kennesaw St., Troy, North Florida, Michigan, and Louisiana, who defeated the Tigers, 13-2, at the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational back on February 15 at Lamson Park.
The Tigers are hitting a .332 as a team, with four homers, 44 RBI’s, and 11 stolen bases.
Offensively, Memphis is led by freshman centerfielder Lindsay Crowdus, who is hitting a .448, to go along with five RBI’s and two stolen bases.
A really good defensive outfielder, Crowdus also paces the team in both slugging percentage (.586) and on-base percentage (.515).
Sophomore outfielder Hannah Harrell is another offensive weapon, hitting a .389, along with four runs batted in and four stolen bases.
Memphis is not a power hitting team. They have only four homers this year, after hitting only eight the entire 2013 season. What they will try to do is work the count, draw a couple of walks, play small ball, and run the bases.
The UL pitchers will have to keep Crowdus off the base paths, and throw strikes. If they do, they should be successful, as Memphis just doesn't have enough offensive firepower to hurt you, much.
Pitching-wise, Memphis brings in an overall team ERA. of 2.77 into the tournament.
Senior right-hander Ellen Roberts is 4-2, with a 0.79 ERA. this season. Roberts, while not spectacular, has been steady this season.
Freshman right-hander Christian Novak is 3-1, with a 2.33 ERA., along with 21 strikeouts in 27 innings of work.
Novak was the losing pitcher when Memphis fell to the Cajuns back on February 15, allowing five runs in 3.2 innings.
The Tigers, a member of the American Athletic Conference, are rebuilding, and aren't ready to compete with the elite teams on a consistent basis. But as we saw during their stay in Acadiana earlier this year, Memphis is capable of playing well, and making this difficult for the opposition.
Louisiana will play twice on Friday, against UTSA (11 am) and Baylor (5 pm), twice more on Saturday, against Chattanooga (2:30 pm) and Ohio (5:30 pm), and once on Sunday, against Memphis (10:30 am).
You can hear all of the UL games on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pre-game show 15 minutes prior to first-pitch for each game.